by Van Nguyen
I’ll be honest with everybody, oh wait this is a blog… my normal life is pretty mundane and, for better or worse, college life has not really been like is in the movies (better actually, for the most part). But then again, that’s also what makes events like this film festival and the student delegate program so much more exciting!
Opening night for this year’s SFIAAFF at the Castro Theatre was SPECTACULAR and- as naive as it sounds- unlike any experience that I’ve ever had! It really went by in a flash. After finding my seat in the beautiful, ritzy, busy Castro Theatre amongst my fellow delegates, we chatted anxiously about everything going on around us: the theatre, the program, CAAM, films, art… life until important people from CAAM and the festival made opening night speeches.
…And then we saw Yoon-Ki Lee’s MY DEAR ENEMY. I was skeptical at first when Chi-hui Yang (Mr. Festival Director Man) mentioned that this was one of his favourite films that of the last few years; but after the gorgeous opening long take, voyeuristically following and switching from character to character over the course of what seemed to be 5 minutes, I was completely stunned.
It’s funny, because just earlier that day I was sitting in my Chinese American literature class in Berkeley, where I was posed with the question of the problematic representation of Asian men in the media (or as David Chiu wonderfully put it: gooks, geeks, gangsters, or gong-fu masters). My instructor’s question was met with blank faces. We couldn’t think of an answer.
But now I think I have one. Byeong-woon Jo.
The film left an incredibly deep impression on me; the cinematography, the layers of the people, the story, the dialogue… it all comes together in such a beautiful way… I can’t really explain it just yet. I’ll have to let it sit for a few days.
Thanks for reading-